WOMEN’S FICTION OR MYTH — We must never use dog poop to take out our frustrations on anyone.
A LADY-LIKE ESSAY
First, what to do with the neighbor’s dog poop?
- Recycle coffee cans for neighborly gifts. Fill them with dog poop destined for the dump where it acts as compost heat. Of course, when the sun beats down on a coffee can with a plastic lid, the ripeness is overwhelming and you might want to think twice about that lid ever coming off while in your yard. Deliver it to proper owner.
- Keep composted cans for our hydrangeas, mix with coffee grinds and cottonseed meal. Wear an oxygen mask. Cover fertilizer with decorative gravel or woodchips.
- Wing dog pile at side of neighbor’s garage. When it sticks you know they might get the idea.
An explanation may be in order. I will try to advocate this fine idea without giving away my brother’s identity.
- When the dog poop does not belong to your dog – that means we can all recognize what comes out of our dog and we find a dog pile in our yard that is not like the other. This usually happens in a pattern. Neighbor’s dog visits, does business, goes home. Neighbor does not wonder why his dog is constipated. They know full well dog is fine, they can see piles over the fence rotting in your backyard.
- But that’s okay, the neighbors know it will all come back to them. That is because when you go out and scoop your own dog piles you throw their dog piles back over the fence. You used to gingerly drop them over the side into a polite little mountain. But then you just started winging the pile to randomly fall where they may, after all that is the way you find them. One day you have had enough shit and give it a whirl off the shovel. Splat. On the side of the garage it sticks. Oops.
- What would you do? Scrape it off with a long stick? Use your power washer? Leave it? My brother smeared it with the stick, not intentionally, he did feel badly. Then he left it there all summer, seems the neighbors never came to that side of the garage to notice, never missed that pile at all. Finally, I want to belive with all my heart, that my sister-in-law, dear long-suffering woman, wearied of looking at it every evening when she retired to an iced tea on the patio. Perhaps she hosed it off. Perhaps bro did.
What to do with your own dog’s poop?
- Pick up before the lawn crew arrives. We only have the giant-sized to worry about. Nice tidy poop from eating highly digestible dog food. We always tred to get every bit, especially before the lawn crew comes to mow. Still, there was once a pile missed and the youngest guy mowed it. He’s mowing with a potentially deadly machine, for crying out loud. How can he miss a rock? Would he mow a rock? A Newfie dogpile is not boulder-size, but definitely noticeable. The lawn crew owner complained because his tractor and trailer and inside his truck was tracked up with dog poop. Don’t look at me. I wouldn’t have done it. If the kid had mowed a rock, he would have worse problems than smeary dog poop. Now we mow our own lawn.
- Install a second septic system just for the dogs. This is for townspeople with Newfoundland-sized dogs.
- Little plastic baggies, turn wrong side out, pick up stuff, turn right side out and zip closed. This is for city dwellers who walk dogs in the street while wearing their career threads. Biodegradeable plastic is environmentally-correct.
- Country dwellers. Some fill wheelbarrows and actually use their dog poop on the compost piles that feed the fruit trees. I wouldn’t want it on my vegetable garden, but this is ponderable use of fine energy, at the very least. Very eco-friendly.
- Country dwellers. Throw it onto the farmer’s field at the roadside without the plastic holding bag. Extremely eco-friendly. But the farmer might have an opinion.
- Wait until it freezes then rake it into piles and pick up. Beginning of September is when it starts at our house. Hubby tried it a few times. Oh yes. The one in charge of these piles is usually identifiable as a husband or teenage son-in-training to be a husband. Picker-upper must have unfailing hope anda positive attitude. a) Must hope for no rain. b) Must hope for no leaves on the piles of poop so the unaware woman of the house will not skate through the poop. c) Must hope for no leaves on the piles so the woman’s young children will not dive into the leaves and dog poop. No, we would not want that. d) Finally, the person in charge of the piles who decided to let them freeze before scooping must hope for a very short autumn to pull this off. This only works once a decade really. Once the visualization of the wife skating free-form through a pile of wet leaves over a few piles of dog poop, well there is no getting that out of your mind. So the person in charge keeps seeing it happen and there is no hope of it never happening again. Even in this rare form, it is still the power of attraction. The Law of Victimization. The Power of Humour. Or whatever you want to call it, it’s still your ass.
Essa Adams is a publisher and writer, her latest novel … with two Newfoundland dogs and a second septic for the house … is published under the penname Thayne Hudson. A Breath Floats By is available from Amazon, with more information at ESSA Books. She is author of pet memoirs, Skunk Medicine: There’s a Skunk in the House! and Other Tail-Raising Stories. She publishes the Women’s Fiction Blog and Pet Skunk Medicine blog where one will find excerpts, short pet stories, a bright array of essays and rants.